Thursday, December 08, 2016

4th Circuit Hears Oral Arguments In Two Religion Cases

Yesterday the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in American Humanist Association v. Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (audio of oral arguments). In the case, a Maryland federal district court rejected an Establishment Clause challenge to the 90-year old Peace Cross, a 40-foot tall Veteran's Memorial in the shape of a cross. (See prior posting.) Reporting on the oral arguments, the Washington Post said in part:
Two appeals court judges clearly stated that there is no way to view the Peace Cross in Bladensburg other than as a symbol of Christianity.
The third judge on the appeals panel just as strongly said that the marble-and-cement monument is a secular war memorial honoring the death and sacrifice of those lost in battle.
Yesterday the 4th Circuit also heard oral arguments in EEOC v. COMSO: Energy, Inc. (audio of oral arguments). In the case, a West Virginia federal district court awarded damages to an Evangelical Christian mine employee who who objected to biometric hand scanning to track time and attendance, believing that it involves the Mark of the Beast forbidden in the Book of Revelation. (See prior posting.)